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Wellington bus drivers to strike, refuse to take fares over part-time shifts dispute

Wellington bus drivers have voted for industrial action including a fare strike, driving buses while refusing to take fares, if they cannot come to an agreement over part-time shifts.

A release from the Wellington Tramways Union today says NZ Bus are attempting to schedule more part-time shifts for drivers that would see many of them face loss of income and increased uncertainty of hours.

Wellington Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says despite recent good relations with NZ Bus many of the unions members are unhappy with the changes.

"Up until recently we've had a pretty good relationship with NZ Bus, but in recent months there's been a real push from the company to undermine the people who work there.

"Alongside the hostile reaction from the other company servicing Wellington's public transport, Tranzit, there's now real pressure on the bus system and on drivers' terms and conditions.

"The blame for this and the broader Wellington bus fiasco sits with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, so it is appropriate that a fare strike will hit them in the pocket.

"If NZ Bus take a sensible approach to part time shifts as the members are asking them to this dispute will settle," Mr O'Sullivan says.

The industrial action is due to begin on Monday January 28 if a settlement can't be reached.

rnz.co.nz

Wellington bus. Source: rnz.co.nz